Rosy Goat Farm
We are a small family run farm in Hardwick MA. We raise goats, pigs, chickens and ducks. We are Certified Naturally Grown.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Trisha. I was born here in Massachusetts, but was raised in rural Ireland. We had a little farm with cows, goats, sheep, chickens and ducks – maybe not all at the same time, but we had them. We raised hay and turf and potatoes, always had a garden, and the poly tunnel. At 17 i left home and worked on a dairy farm where i helped milk the cows.
And the rain. There was always the rain. The cow shite and the rain always managed to ruin my shoes no matter how careful i was!
It was one of the reasons i left Ireland.
I decided to move to the city of Boston, and i worked around greater Boston for years.
It took me years to get used to the food- white flavourless butter instead of golden tasty butter, pale eggs, plastic tasting milk, pork that tasted like whatever sauce you put on it, etc etc, so, i began to search for farm raised foods at farmers markets. That wasn’t easy in the ’90’s.
I married, and had kids and moved out of the city where we began our own garden.
We began to search for a farm, and found one in 2012. We moved in in 2013. A whole lot of work needed to be done and the farm was terribly overgrown.
Here we are today, all the same animals as i had growing up, (except for cows) and i’m back to the mud.
And we have the best tasting food!
We are Certified Naturally Grown- which means we are GMO free, we don’t use chemical fertilizers or pesticides, antibiotics, or growth hormones. We use organic practices and permaculture. Our animals are free-ranged on open pastures, they get plenty of sunshine and fresh air.
We offer high quality meat from heritage breeds.
Of our hogs, one of the rare breeds we have are Gloucestershire Old Spot – known for it’s lard and marbling, this pork has a hearty robust flavor. This is a beautiful hog, pinkish with blackish spots, that is of British ancestry. The Old Spot is rare because it’s genetics are scarce in the US. It’s one of the best eating hogs in the world. These pigs take longer to reach maturity- almost twice as long as the industry standard, which results in that marbling, and delectable fat, which renders down to a satisfyingly lard that makes exquisite pastry! We feed them a grain ration by hand twice daily and they forage and root in their overgrown pasture (helping to develop that robust floral flavor) as their breed has been developed over the centuries to do- clearing out old orchards of fallen apples was their desired job! The daily feeding of grain is labor intensive, but really worth it as these hogs are friendly and ‘chatty’!
Some of our Old Spots have been cross bred with Berkshire’s. Berkshire’s are prized for their tenderness, flavor and they’re also well marbled. Also an English breed, these hogs were specially bred for the Kings personal supply because of it’s excellence.
We cross our Gloucestershire Old Spots with a Tamsworth boar, which is a longer leaner breed, the flavorful Tamsworth meat combines with the moist marbling of the Old Spot and Berkshire’s, and being longer in length means more bacon! The Tamsworth’s also originated in England- in Tamsworth Staffordshire, (with some input from Irish pig’s) It is among the oldest of pig breeds. It is listed as ‘threatened’ in the US, and ’vunerable’ in the UK. They’re a beautiful red color. Our pork bacon and sausage is undeniably delectable! You will not find this delicious meat at the supermarket.
Another heritage breed we have are Muscovy ducks. These ducks lay great eggs, but are better known for their meat. They’re a distinct breed as they’re more closely related to geese, domesticated by various Native American cultures by the time Columbus reached the Bahamas! The males can grow to 15lbs- 18lbs and they have a meat flavor comparable to beef or veal. The meat is considered lean compared to the fatty meat of the mallard-derived ducks. The drakes are quackless and make a hissing sound, the females quack when distressed. These guys forage every day in our back field eating bugs and grazing grass, developing a hearty flavorful red meat, great for roasting and braising.
Chevon, chevreau and cabrito- are fancy names for goat meat. It is a healthier alternative to beef. Goats were our first farm animals!
We have LaMancha goats- an American earless breed first developed in 1927. They are a dairy goat, and a side product of dairying are male offsprings which are quite luscious and pleasing to taste. This goat meat, (and the milk,) is not noticibly ‘goaty’ and we have had the meat braised in a savory sauce, as ragoûts and mixed into burgers and it’s best with bold spicy flavors like curry. Ground goat can be used with or even alone in any of the same dishes that use ground beef, chicken, pork, or lamb.
We are going to invest in a meat goat breed called Kiko, this Spring 2019, which originates in New Zealand, and we will let you know how it tastes later in the year.
We have raised Red Ranger meat chickens which free range and forage and are more natural behaving compared to the Cornish Rocks, or Cornish Cross. They take longer to mature as they burn calories while foraging, and they are therefore leaner, and have a robust chicken flavor. The Cornish rocks have foraging almost bred out of them so they’re more sedentary, and are happy to sit at the feeder. They eat more grain, and their meat is tender because of their inactivity. They will forage while young but they fatten fast and their legs struggle to walk. The Cornish cross are ready to be processed by 8 weeks and dress out between 5-8lbs. We have grown both in the past and like the quick growth of the Cornish Cross.
It’s not all meat! We have a variety of tasty traditional fruits and vegetables.
We grow Heirloom asparagus, Mary Washington, and it’s a traditional variety that produces long, deep green spears with a purple tinged tips. It has been a favorite in American gardens for over a century. We use our own compost to feed our asparagus and our own wood chips to protect their feet!
We have a rhubarb patch. We have an elderberry grove, and hazelnut shrubs. We have blackberries and raspberries and new blueberry trees (those goats kept finding and eating the shrubs to death!)
And we grow garlic. Garlic scape pesto doesn’t last long in our house! Hopefully we grew enough this year to keep up with the demand!
That’s our offering for now!